Italy boss reveals Leeds United winger Willy Gnonto's reaction to international break demotion

Italy Under-21 coach Carmine Nunziata will have Leeds United winger Willy Gnonto at his disposal for this month's international fixtures against San Marino and the Republic of Ireland.

The 20-year-old Leeds forward answered Nunziata's call to re-join the Under-21 setup this month after playing a role for Gli Azzurri's senior team in recent international breaks. Gnonto's involvement at Elland Road has been limited in recent weeks following an ankle injury sustained in the 0-0 draw with Hull City two months ago.

Gnonto spent a period out of the side whilst recuperating from minor surgery and has predominantly appeared from the bench on his return to action. This month's Italy squad, now led by ex-Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti, did not feature the exciting youngster, although he has been selected for the Under-21s.

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“Gnonto is a great guy, who presented himself very well but I had no doubts about this," Nunziata said ahead of Italy's U21 Euro qualifier against San Marino on Thursday, November 16.

"He likes to play football and I know he will do it with us too," the 56-year-old added.

Gnonto's response to his squad demotion appears to have been a positive one, according to the youth international boss, amid unconfirmed reports that he is unhappy at Elland Road. Daniel Farke refused to comment on individual cases relating to the January transfer window when asked about the Italian's links with a winter switch earlier this month.

The Italian made headlines in August when seeking a move to Premier League side Everton, which did not materialise as Leeds stood firm on their valuation of the youngster. Gnonto subsequently apologised to Farke for the way in which he conducted himself and has since been reintegrated into the squad.

He currently has one goal and one assist from 487 minutes of Championship action this season.

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